Algeria: The Police Have a List


July 25, 2007: In the last week, the police made multiple contacts with Islamic terrorists, killing 38 and capturing ten. Security forces have lost several dead and wounded. Among the items captured was a laptop computer containing a list of 572 terrorists who attended a meeting in Algeria in the last week. At this gathering, new leaders were appointed, and it was decided to avoid civilian casualties as much as possible. Many of the men attending the meeting were supporters, not active fighters. But the list makes it easier to go after key members of the terrorist organization.

As expected, Al Qaeda in North Africa publicly announced its new policy of avoiding civilian casualties. This is in sharp contrast to previous Algerian Islamic terrorists, who went out of their way to terrorize and kill civilians who did not support them. The terrorists have been using remotely controlled roadside bombs, to attack soldiers and police in rural areas. The new strategy strives to gain civilian support by attacking the security forces. But most Algerians have long memories, and are not giving the terrorists the needed support. Police have a constant stream of tips on where the terrorists are.

Meanwhile, in the south, Niger is asking for help in dealing with a tribal rebellion near the Algerian border. The rebels are a 2,000 man faction of the Tuareg tribes, who refuse to accept the peace deal with rest of the Tuareg settled for. Niger believes the rebels are supporting Islamic terrorists in the area, if only for the money.


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